New computer virus hits county

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 31, 2002

Some local computer users have found themselves dealing with a pesky new problem recently.

A new virus, referred to as the "W95 Spawn.4608 Virus," which is transmitted mainly through e-mails, has forced some computer owners, at least those who have not updated their antivirus protection, to have their computers re-formatted, and some users have lost valuable documents in the process.

Robin Richburg, who is a technician for Alaweb Internet Services in Andalusia, said she is personally not familiar with the latest virus, saying the virus is not listed among one of the company's main viruses.

"We really haven't had many people complaining about (the Spawn Virus)," said Richburg. "We have a homepage, however, which is helpful for users in dealing with various viruses."

Dale Spears from Covington Computer Technologies said he also has not seen many cases of the Spawn virus as of yet, but said the first thing he would recommend for all computer owners is to have their antivirus-protection units updated frequently.

"From what I've heard there are about 600 new viruses per day," said Spears. "I would suggest that computer users need to have their antivirus protection updated on a weekly basis."

Spears said he doesn't know of any viruses that are particularly worse than others.

"There are many viruses out there that attack and a person's total system gets infected," said Spears. "Usually when this happens, that person loses pretty much everything. This is why it is so important to have your antivirus protection up to date."

He said his business deals with various virus problems periodically.

"(Virus complaints or problems) come in stages really," said Spears. "Sometimes we will have three or four in one week and sometimes we will go a month without someone bringing in a computer with a virus problem. We have already had about three or four this week, though."

Another spokesperson with Covington Computer Technologies said to re-format and reload a computer following a virus-related problem or crash typically costs in the $85 range.

Computer users, to avoid possible crashes or problems due to virus, should always remember three basic steps:

Keep your Virus Definitions updated.

Install Norton AntiVirus program updates when available.

Always delete suspicious looking emails.

You may also scan your personal computer for threats now by using the free online Symantec Security Check.